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Your clothes, the floor, your furniture…
If you have a Golden Retriever, expect everything in your home to be covered in Golden fluff.
Yes, you’ll even find a hair or two in your food sometimes.
Golden Retrievers shed a lot. They shed year-round, but especially in spring and fall when they blow their coats. To keep the loose fur in your house to a minimum, brush them regularly.
But brushing isn’t the only thing you can do to help keep your house fur-free.
In this post, you’ll learn how to manage your Golden Retriever’s shedding while keeping your pup happy and healthy.
Many people are accidentally ruining their dog’s coats thinking that they’re decreasing shedding, and you’ll see what those mistakes are so you can avoid them.
Why Golden Retrievers Shed
Before we talk about how to control Golden Retriever shedding, it’s important to understand their coat, the importance of it, and why they shed.
Although their fur is beautiful, soft, and nice to pet, there’s a lot more to it.
Golden Retrievers have a double coat that is made of a soft, fluffy undercoat and a long and smooth outer coat.
The undercoat protects them from both hot and cold temperatures, while the outer coat is waterproof and protects them from dirt and other debris.
All mammals (including humans) shed their fur or hair to some degree, so it’s totally natural.
Now the good thing about Golden Retriever fur is that it’s relatively easy to clean.
It’s soft and often clumps together, so whether you’re sweeping it off the floors or wiping it off your clothes, it’s likely to come off in little piles that resemble furry dust bunnies.
When Do Golden Retrievers Shed
Shedding season for Golden Retrievers is spring and fall when they “blow” their coat.
They shed year-round, but these two seasons are when they shed the most, and when you’re more likely to find lots of furry “tumbleweeds” in the house.
Golden Retriever puppies don’t shed that much, but as they grow older and their adult coats come in, they’ll start to shed more and more.
Their adult coats don’t fully grow in until they’re about a year and half old, which is when they’ll reach peak shedding potential.
- Get the complete gameplan for raising your new Golden Retriever puppy with the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!
How To Reduce Golden Retriever Shedding
The following tips will show you how to manage the excessive Golden Retriever shedding.
They range from house cleaning tips to dog cleaning tips and everything in between.
Not all tips will work for you, but hopefully, you’ll be able to pick out a few that do.
Tip #1: Brush Your Golden Retriever Daily
The best way to keep shedding to a minimum is to brush your Golden daily.
This gets the dead fur off of your dog and onto the brush, instead of off of the dog and onto the floor.
I brush my Golden, Oliver, outside so any extra fur that comes off of him goes into the yard and not the house.
Learn more about the best brushes for Golden Retrievers here.
Tip #2: After You Brush Them, Rub Them Down
This is something I recently started doing and it’s been amazing for keeping fur out of the house.
After you brush your dog, there will likely be lots of loose fur stuck to their coat.
When I would take Oliver inside, he would shake himself and I would watch all of this loose fur float into the air.
So now, after I brush him, I rub him down with my hands in the same direction the fur lies and I get lots of extra fur the brush didn’t get off of him.
Thankfully, this fur now ends up in the yard instead of the house.
Tip #3: Bathe Them Every 1-2 Months
Running water and your fingers through their fur gets even more dead fur out from their coat.
Plus, it keeps their coat clean.
However, there are three warnings when it comes to bathing your Golden:
- Don’t do it too often. Excessive bathing can reduce their natural oils and dry out their skin.
- Be sure to rinse them properly. They have a lot of fur and it can be easy for soap to hide in it without getting washed out (which can damage their skin).
- Be sure to dry them off properly. Golden Retrievers are susceptible to hot spots, which can be caused by moisture trapped in their fur.
Most Golden Retrievers do well with getting a bath every 1-2 months depending on how much they play outside (and if they’re playing in the dirt, grass, or a turf park), how much they play with other dogs, and how much they swim.
Another important tip to manage shedding that has a lot to do with bathing is the shampoo…
Tip #4: Use A Quality Dog Shampoo
Using human shampoo, or a poorly made shampoo with cheap ingredients or too many chemicals can mess up your dog’s skin.
The best case is that it dries out their skin and leaves it flaky, while the worst case is that it exposes them to parasites, viruses, and bacteria.
Make sure to use a shampoo that is made especially for dogs when bathing your Golden.
Tip #5: Take Them For A Swim
Like we said in tip #3, water helps get extra dead fur out from their coat that brushes sometimes can’t.
And just like when giving them a bath, be sure to dry them off properly to keep their skin healthy.
Tip #6: Take Them To A Professional Groomer
In addition to brushing your Golden daily, you can also take them to a professional groomer.
They can help trim your Golden appropriately and give them a good bath and brush, not to mention help take care of their nails, paws, ears, and more.
Learn how to groom your Golden Retriever yourself here.
Tip #7: Feed Them A Quality Dog Food
High-quality dog food can help keep your Golden’s skin and fur healthy (among many other things).
Healthy skin and fur shed at a normal rate, while unhealthy skin and fur can increase the rate of shedding.
Although high-quality food may be more expensive, you’ll have a happier, healthier dog, plus you’ll save money down the road on vet bills.
Tip #8: Keep Their Stress Levels Low
Just like how people can lose their hair when they’re stressed, dogs can shed more when they’re stressed.
Keep their stress levels low by:
- Feeding them regularly
- Exercising them regularly
- Giving them adequate time to rest and sleep
- Playing and bonding with them
- Keeping your stress levels low
Tip #9: Watch Your Golden Retriever For Allergies
Food and environmental allergies can cause skin irritations, rashes, itchiness, and excessive shedding.
If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your veterinarian about possible issues and solutions.
Tip #10: Watch Your Dog For Infestations
Your dog should be on medication to prevent these parasites, but talk to your veterinarian about it if you think this is a problem.
Tip #11: Supplement With Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits for humans’ joints, skin, eyes, hearts and more, and we’re also seeing that it has many benefits for dogs as well.
Talk to your veterinarian to see if this is a good choice for your Golden, but many people give fish oil supplements to their pups and rave about the effects it has on their coats.
- Getting a Golden Retriever puppy? Click here to download the potty training cheat sheet to make potty training faster and easier!
Tip #12: Keep A Lint Roller On Hand
There’s no getting around it…
Beautiful, soft, Golden fluff will get on your clothes.
My wife keeps a lint roller in her purse and we always roll each other down if we’re going someplace nice.
Tip #13: Vacuum The House (Often)
No matter how often you brush, bathe, and swim with your Golden, fur will get in your house.
Tip #14: Expect Shedding To Increase After Spaying Or Neutering
Hormonal changes may change your dog’s shedding habits and spaying or neutering your pup brings on a huge hormonal change.
They may shed a little more after the procedure, but don’t worry, it will soon pass.
Tip #15: Never Shave Your Golden Retriever
Shaving or cutting your Golden’s hair very short is a huge no-no.
In the first section, we talked about the importance of their double coat, and shaving or cutting this off robs them of their natural protection.
Some people think that they’re doing their dog a favor in the hot summer months by shaving their Golden, but in fact, they’re doing them a huge disservice.
Their undercoat protects them from both hot and cold temperatures so it’s best to never shave or cut your Golden’s coat too short.
Tip #16: Don’t Use Pills Or Sprays That Promise To Decrease Shedding
Many of these products contain harmful chemicals that could be unhealthy for your pup.
Instead, choose one of the tips above to help manage your Golden Retriever’s shedding.
And here’s the best tip of all…
Tip #17: Get Used To It!
Having fur everywhere is par for the course for Golden Retriever owners.
Extreme shedding is a small price to pay for the soft, beautiful, fluffy coats you get to snuggle with and pet every day.
If you’re ever frustrated at the layer of hair covering everything in your house, give your Golden a hug, bury your face in their neck, and remember how lucky you are to have one of these sweet, beautiful animals grace your home.
Living With Golden Retriver Shedding
Although Golden Retrievers shed a lot, the above ways can help you keep the shedding under control and your clothes and house clean.
Which of these tips will you try?
Do you have any tips for controlling shedding that I left out?
Let me know in the comments below!
And if you liked this article, check out this post about the best brushes for Golden Retrievers.
P.S. If you’re getting a Golden Retriever puppy, get the complete gameplan for raising your new pup in the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!